Tyler Breeze Reflects On WWE NXT Takeover Match With Jushin Thunder Liger

When "WWE NXT" ventured out of the hallowed halls of Full Sail University for the first time, they needed to have a spectacular card to mark the occasion. The inaugural NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn certainly delivered, with epic matches featuring Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Samoa Joe, to name a few. 

However, the top stars of the black and gold brand weren't the only big names to show up and show out at the Barclays Center on August 22, 2015. International sensation Jushin Thunder Liger stepped into a WWE ring for the first time ever to face Tyler Breeze, and now "Prince Pretty" has looked back fondly on the experience.

While appearing on A2D Radio's "Lazy Booking," Breeze shared that he could not believe it when the match was brought to him. He said that it was then-champion Finn Balor who broke the unbelievable news to him.

"At that point, I probably worked almost everybody multiple times and ... we're just waiting for the perfect time to debut [on the main roster]. I still want to be on Takeovers and I remember it was Finn who told me, 'You're working Liger.' Who's Liger? Like not, surely not Jushin Thunder Liger. He doesn't even work here. And he goes, 'He trained me and they asked me to reach out and see if he'd be interested in working with you.' It didn't feel real until it was real."

Dinner With Liger

Those feelings carried over until the day of the event for Tyler Breeze. When it came time to meet the legendary Japanese wrestler, the superkicking supermodel didn't even know that it was happening. But when he did realize what was going on, he couldn't have asked for a better scenario with the iconic NJPW star.

"I end up getting to Brooklyn and I never met him," he said. "I have no clue what he looks like. So I sit down in catering and there's a guy who sits across from me. He's an older Asian dude. You wouldn't recognize anything about him and he's sitting across from me. I just kind of stared at him and ... so I just went, 'Hey man! I think we're working tonight.' And he goes, 'Please put the whole match together. I don't really understand the style. Whatever you want to do.' I'm telling him the match and he's just being so ridiculously respectful on stuff. I went, 'Hey, maybe this and then you go and grab my phone and then you lay up in the corner?' 

"He goes, 'Oh, thank you, thank you!' No, no, no, thank you, man! It was literally just like that the whole time. Nothing but respect. Nothing but class. Everything in the ring was fantastic. Everybody was happy with it. He was happy with it."

Learning From The Master

The WWE Universe was also happy with the match between Tyler Breeze and Jushin Thunder Liger. When it comes to the cruiserweight/light heavyweight/junior heavyweight/X-Division style, Liger is a pioneer and innovator. Though he had never wrestled for WWE until that point, his name was still revered all over the wrestling world for his contributions to the sport. 

But for as much as the masked man had already given to pro wrestling, he also gave Breeze an important lesson that night.

"If he has zero ego [and] nothing but respect, I never have an excuse ever to be mean to somebody or to be a jerk or to not be respectful or look down on them," said the former UpUpDownDown Champion. "If anybody could get away with it, he could and he didn't. If I learned something from him, it's just [have] no ego."

These days, aside from preparing for an in-ring return after a short hiatus following his 2021 release, Breeze can pass on the lessons he learned from the WWE Hall of Famer to his students at the Flatbacks Wrestling School in Apopka, Florida.